Ultimaker 3 Extended


I was looking for a 3D Printer that met the following requirements:
  • Dual Extruders, primarily for printing support material, and secondarily for printing in two colors.
  • Compatible with Mac.
  • Ability to print with minimum tinkering (minimum time and effort to adjust hardware and software settings).
  • Fairly large build area (approximately 8 inches x 8 inches x 8 inches, or larger).
  • Offline printing capability (ability to print when not connected to computer).
  • Active leveling (the ability of the printer to compensate when the print surface is not perfectly level) like that featured on the Ultimaker 3 Extended is a great feature to have.

Bottom Line: Four out of Five Stars

The Ultimaker 3 Extended is a great printer, and the support offered by 3D Universe (from whom I purchased the printer) is also great. However, the build area is smaller than the build area specified in both the specifications and the installation and user manual. In particular, the published build area is 215 x 215 x 300 mm when printing with a single extruder, and 197 x 215 x 300 mm when printing with dual extruders. When I was unable to print a model that should have fit, I contacted 3D Universe, where I purchased the printer, and the support person I am working with has been providing excellent support. He did some experimentation, and determined that the actual maximum build area is approximately 206 x 206 x 299.9 mm when printing with a single extruder, and approximately 188 x 206 x 299.9 mm when printing with dual extruders. He checked with the engineers, and they reported that the discrepancy in the maximum build area results from a combination of hardware and software factors.

I would have given the printer five stars, but because of the discrepancy between the published and the actual build area, I have given the printer only four stars. (If the actual smaller build area had been published in the specifications, I still would have purchased this printer, and I would have given it a five star review, because I would not have been mislead by the specifications.)

Additional Comments

  • The Ultimaker 3 Installation and user manual is available in printable PDF format, and is very good. However, it would be nice if the printer included a complete front panel menu tree, including such information as how to change the filament in the middle of a print job. Also, at least one front panel error message (Difference between detected height of both PrintCores exceeds realistic values) is not listed in the table of error messages on page 42.
  • The camera is very nice, but I really don't need to view it from my computer (in the same room). It would be nice if I could view the camera remotely using the Ultimaker app.
  • The front panel indicator of time remaining is incorrect each hour. It decrements from (for example) 4Hrs 1Min to 3Hrs 0Min to 3Hrs 59Min.
  • The printer clears the extruders at the beginning of each print. The excess filament is supposed to adhere to the build plate, but sometimes sticks to the nozzle assembly and gets dragged around with the nozzle.